How Does Prep Work In Preventing Hiv
Drugs used for PrEP belong to a class of antiviral medications called nucleoside/nucleotide reverse transcriptase inhibitors . They work by stopping the virus from multiplying in your body.
Before starting PrEP, and at least every 3 months while youre taking the medication, you will need to be tested for HIV and have a negative test result.
If youve been exposed to HIV or show symptoms of an acute case, you will wait to make sure you test negative before restarting on the PrEP medication.
Its important to wait for a negative test result because PrEP cannot effectively treat HIV on its own, and drug resistance may develop if PrEP is taken during an HIV case.
Prevention counseling is another important part of PrEP. Before starting PrEP therapy, a healthcare professional can help you:
- prevention methods
- why it might be beneficial to make PrEP part of your daily routine
The length of time youll take PrEP will depend on your individual health factors. Talk with a healthcare provider about your health experiences and how long you need to take PrEP.
The two approved PrEP medications are Truvada and Descovy.
What Is Pep And How Does It Prevent Hiv
PEP stands for post-exposure prophylaxis. Its a series of pills you start taking after youve been exposed to HIV that lowers your chances of getting HIV. You have to start PEP within 72 hours , after you were exposed to HIV for it to work. The sooner you start it, the better. Every hour counts, so if you think you were exposed to HIV, call your nurse or doctor or go to the emergency room right away. PEP is only for emergencies it doesnt take the place of using condoms or PrEP. Read more about PEP.
Who Can Use Prep
PrEP isnt right for everybody. PrEP is for people who dont have HIV, and are at higher risk for getting HIV. You may want to talk with a doctor or nurse about PrEP if you:
Dont regularly use condoms.
Have a sexual partner who has HIV .
Have a sexual partner who is at high risk for getting HIV .
Have anal or vaginal sex with many partners, especially if you dont use condoms regularly.
Recently had another STD .
Do sex work that includes vaginal or anal sex.
Have injected drugs, shared needles, or been in treatment for drug use in the past 6 months.
If youre at high risk for HIV and youre pregnant, trying to get pregnant, or breastfeeding, PrEP may also help you and your baby avoid getting HIV.
Your doctor or nurse will talk with you about your situation to figure out if PrEP is right for you. Its important to be honest so you can get the best health care for you doctors and nurses are there to help, not judge. The more accurate information they have, the better they can help you.
PrEP isnt the same thing as PEP . PEP is a short-term treatment for people whove already been exposed to HIV within the past 72 hours. PrEP is an ongoing daily pill for people who may be exposed to HIV in the future.
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Since Prep Medication Alone Is Not Effective At Treating Hiv Is It Possible That Taking Prep Could Lead To My Developing Drug Resistant Hiv If I Become Infected Could It Lead To Higher Levels Of Drug Resistant Virus In The Community
HIV testing is a critical component when using PrEP for HIV prevention. HIV testing is done before a person begins PrEP to ensure that only HIV negative people are prescribed PrEP. Periodic HIV testing for everyone taking PrEP ensures that anyone who gets HIV will be identified quickly so they can be put on an effective treatment regimen. If a person on PrEP gets HIV, drug resistance testing is done to determine an effective treatment regimen. There is no evidence that PrEP can lead to higher rates of drug resistant virus in the community.
Who Is Prep Meant For
PrEP is not the right fit for everyone. Only the group of people with an increased risk of contracting HIV are qualified. In the Netherlands this group mainly consists of men who have sex with men with additional risk factors for HIV infection. Only people who are HIV-negative can use PrEP. Sometimes the use of PrEP is also not permitted if you have certain diseases.
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How Hiv Attacks The Body
The human body has no natural means of fighting and getting rid of HIV. HIV targets your immune system directly, aiming at a specific type of white blood cell. White blood cells are immune system cells tasked with shielding the body against infection and disease.
The group of specific white blood cells attacked by HIV are called CD4 cells. Also known as T-cells or helper cells, CD4 cells help coordinate your bodys immune response, organizing protection against harmful invaders. HIV tricks CD4 cells into becoming a safe haven in which the virus can reproduce and spread throughout your body. HIV depends on CD4 cells to survive and thrive. Without helpful CD4 cells, HIV may not stand a chance.
Is Prep A Vaccine
No. A vaccine causes your body to make special substances called âantibodiesâ that will fight against a disease-causing germ, like a virus, long after you take the dose. PrEP protects you against HIV only as long as you continue to take it. The effect disappears once you stop taking the medicine.
PrEP also doesnât prevent pregnancy or stop you from getting other sexually transmitted diseases, or STDs. The best way to protect against STDs like gonorrhea and chlamydia is to wear a condom.
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Does Prep Work After Hiv Exposure
No. PrEP must be taken for some time before a possible exposure to HIV to be effective. PrEP is short for pre-exposure prophylaxis.
If you think you may have been exposed to HIV, PEP, post-exposure prophylaxis, may be an option within the first 48 to 72 hours of the possible exposure. Contact your health care provider or emergency room for a prescription.
Sharing Needles And Injecting Equipment
If you inject drugs, this could expose you to HIV and other viruses found in blood, such as hepatitis C.
It’s important not to share needles, syringes, injecting equipment such as spoons and swabs, or the actual drugs or liquids used to dilute them.
Many local authorities and pharmacies offer needle exchange programmes, where used needles can be exchanged for clean ones.
If you’re a heroin user, consider enrolling in a methadone programme. Methadone can be taken as a liquid, so it reduces your risk of getting HIV.
A GP or drug counsellor should be able to advise you about both needle exchange programmes and methadone programmes.
If you’re having a tattoo or piercing, it’s important that a clean, sterilised needle is always used.
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Does Pep Cause Side Effects
Some people taking PEP may have side effects, like nausea. The side effects are usually not serious and often get better over time. If you are taking PEP, tell your health care provider if you have a side effect that bothers you or that does not go away.
PEP medicines may also interact with other medicines that a person is taking . So it’s important to tell your health care provider about any other medicines that you take.
I Use Condoms Do I Need Prep
Dr. Flash covers how condoms and PrEP can work together to protect against HIV and other sexually transmitted diseases .
In addition to condoms, PrEP offers those who do not have HIV another powerful means of protection.
PrEP only protects against HIV. Condoms provide protection against other STDs, in particular gonorrhea and chlamydia.
Since twice-yearly STD screening is part of maintaining a PrEP prescription, going on PrEP can help you more promptly diagnose and treat any STDs you may contract.
#AskTheHIVDoc is a video series from Greater Than AIDS featuring top HIV doctors providing answers to commonly-asked questions about HIV prevention, testing and treatment.
This information is shared for educational purposes only and should not be used as a substitute for professional medical advice. The views expressed are those of the featured medical professional and reflect information available to that professional at time of filming. Always consult a health care provider for any personal health decision.
While we make every effort to keep the medical information on our website updated, we cannot guarantee that the information reflects the most up-to-date research. Also, please note the views expressed by individuals who appear in Greater Than AIDS videos and other content are their own and are not made on behalf of any groups/organizations/associations.
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What Is Art And How Does It Help Prevent Hiv
Antiretroviral therapy is a combination of medicines that slows down the effects of HIV in your body and can help you stay healthy for many years. It can also lower or even stop your chances of giving HIV to anyone else.
ART lowers the amount of HIV in your body sometimes to the point where HIV wont show up on standard blood tests. If your HIV viral load is so low that certain tests cant see it, its called undetectable. When someone has an undetectable viral load, they cant spread HIV to others during sex.
Its important to remember that even with an undetectable viral load, HIV is still present in your body. If you stop treatment your viral load can go up, making it possible to pass HIV to others you have sex with. Your doctor or nurse can help you find the treatment thats best for you to help keep your viral load low, so you can stay healthy.
What Is The Most Important Information I Should Know About Truvada For Prep
Before and while taking TRUVADA for PrEP:
- You must be HIV negative before you start and while taking TRUVADA for PrEP. Do not take TRUVADA to reduce the risk of getting HIV-1 unless you are confirmed to be HIV negative.
- Get tested for HIV-1 immediately before and at least every 3 months while taking TRUVADA.
- If you think you were exposed to HIV-1, tell your healthcare provider right away. They may do more tests to confirm that you are still HIV negative.
TRUVADA can cause serious side effects:
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What If I Dont Have Insurance
Without insurance, PrEP can be expensiveout-of-pocket costs can be as high as $13,000 per year. However, there are many ways to obtain Truvada for PrEP at low or no cost, including Gileads prescription assistance programs, clinical trials, and in some states, Medicaid. San Francisco residents can also obtain coverage for Truvada through Healthy San Francisco.
Why Should I Take Prep Medication
PrEP medications allow those at risk for HIV to take control of their health and reduce their risk. If you are at risk of HIV exposure through sex or injection drug use, ask a health care professional if PrEP is right for you. PrEP medications only protect against HIV, so condoms are still important to prevent other sexually transmitted infections.
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What Is Truvada For Prep
TRUVADA for PrEP is a once-daily prescription medicine for adults and adolescents at risk of HIV who weigh at least 77 pounds. It helps lower the chance of getting HIV through sex. You must be HIV negative before and while taking TRUVADA for PrEP.
To help determine if TRUVADA for PrEP may be an option for you, talk openly with your healthcare provider about your risk for HIV-1.
What Is The Ready Set Prep Program
The Ready, Set, PrEP Program is a new program by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services that makes PrEP available at no cost for people without insurance. To receive PrEP through this program, you must test negative for HIV, have a valid prescription for PrEP, and not have prescription drug coverage.
If you receive PrEP through the Ready, Set, PrEP Program, you will not have to pay for the medicine. The costs of clinic visits and lab test costs may vary depending on your income.
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How Prep Helps Defend Against Hiv
PrEP works by setting up fortified walls around CD4 cells. These walls keep HIV from crossing into the healthy cells and replicating. If HIV enters your body, it will be unable to breach the walls to gain access to the CD4 cells.
It is estimated that PrEP protection begins 7 to 20 days after the first dose. PrEP therapy requires periodic monitoring by your healthcare provider, usually once every one to three months.
Keep in mind that PrEP therapy is just an additional tool in the HIV prevention toolbox.
It is highly recommended that you combine additional strategies such as safe-sex practices with PrEP to lower your risk even further.
Just like any other medicine, PrEP is not for everyone and it may also produce side effects and even long-term consequences in some people.
The health care providers at FamilyCare of Kent include board-certified family nurse practitioners who are licensed by the state of Washington. They can help your family with most of the health concerns for which you might see any other provider, such as a primary care physician. Call us to ask about how PrEP may help you. Call or use our online appointment request form to get started.
I Dont Have Insurance Can I Still Get Prep
If you are uninsured, there may be resources available that can help pay for PrEP and the necessary clinic visits and tests.
One such source is the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Ready, Set, PrEP Program that provides PrEP at no cost for people who do not have insurance coverage. For more information, and to apply for the program, visit GetYourPrEP.com or call 447-8410.
Another is Gileads Advancing Access Program. To see if you are eligible for this program provided by PrEPs manufacturer call 226-2056. Eligibility is based on income.
There are organizations that can help you get on PrEP, even if you dont have insurance.
To find affordable health insurance coverage options in your state, go to: healthcoverage.greaterthan.org.
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Can Adolescents Consent To Prep On Their Own Does A Healthcare Provider Need The Consent Of A Parent Or Guardian In Order To Prescribe Prep To An Adolescent
2017 amendments to NYSDOH regulations allow minors to consent to their own HIV treatment and HIV preventive services, such as PrEP and PEP, without parental/guardian involvement . The FDA has approved the use of Truvada for adolescents regardless of gender, and Descovy for adolescent cis-gender males. These developments, along with updated New York State Clinical Guidelines, mean that adolescents who are at risk for HIV may consent to PrEP without the involvement of the young persons parent or guardian.
Actions For This Page
- Pre-exposure prophylaxis is an oral medication that prevents HIV in people at risk of infection with the virus.
- PrEP reduces the risk of getting HIV by up to 99% when taken consistently as prescribed.
- All GPs in Australia can prescribe PrEP.
- PrEP doesnt protect against sexually transmissible infections . Condoms are still the best protection against infections .
- HIV transmission can also be prevented by using condoms during anal or vaginal sex, using sterile injecting equipment, not sharing injecting equipment or achieving and maintaining undetectable HIV viral loads if you are HIV-positive.
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How Is Prep Taken
PrEP is currently one tablet of Truvada daily. It can be taken with food, or between meals.There is research ongoing to look at other medications for PrEP.
Truvada contains two medications, tenofovir and emtricitabine . Truvada is only available with a prescription.
PrEP is more than simply taking HIV pills. The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has issued guidelines for the use of PrEP. One set of guidelines is for men who have sex with men. Another is for heterosexuals.
Ready Set Prep Helps End Hiv In The United States
Ready, Set, PrEP makes free PrEP medications available nationwide, and is a key component of efforts to end HIV in the United States. Together we can reduce the number of new HIV transmissions in the United States by 75% by 2025 and by at least 90% by 2030.
Over the next 10 years, up to 200,000 people per year can benefit from receiving PrEP medications through this program. Ready, Set, PrEP will expand access to PrEP medications, reduce new HIV infections, and bring us one step closer to ending the HIV epidemic in the United States.
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